Bristol & West axes online banking

Customers stay away in droves

UK financial services company Bristol & West is preparing to quietly kill off its online banking offering at the end of next month because of a lack of customer interest.

The firm, which is part of the Bank of Ireland's UK Financial Services group, said its website, which enables customers to manage savings portfolios online, had not attracted enough active users.

A Bristol & West's spokesman said the site, which was launched in April 2001, ended up being used by less than one per cent of the group's customers. Given this "disappointing" level of customer adoption, the company said it has decided to axe the service on 28 November.

"What we provided was very limited; it was just an online savings account. With hindsight this is not going to have the appeal of a highly transactional account or something where you can access a lot of products. I think that's probably where its limitation was," a Bristol & West spokesman told The Register.

"Because of the disappointing uptake we decided to take the customers who currently had Bristol & West online accounts and give them the option to continue to manage their accounts either by post or by phone.

"Going forward we're going to review what we offer on the Web and find a new formula."

We would like to thank eagle-eyed Reg reader > Andrew Stanley who dropped us an email saying that customers were notified of the website termination in a letter dated 24 October, but added that: "I can't find a reference on their website; in fact it would seem that you can still actually apply to be a Bristol & West Online customer."

However, since we received this tip off the financial services group has in fact changed its site with the following posting which warns of the site's imminent demise. ®

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